Eddie Nketiah honoured to break Alan Shearer’s Under-21s record

The Arsenal striker has beaten the scoring record previously held by Shearer and Francis Jeffers.

England U21 v Turkey U21 – UEFA Euro 2021 Under-21 Qualifying – Group 3 – Molineux
England U21 v Turkey U21 – UEFA Euro 2021 Under-21 Qualifying – Group 3 – Molineux

Eddie Nketiah admits he is humbled to be mentioned in the same breath as Alan Shearer after becoming England Under-21s’ record scorer.

The Arsenal striker scored his 14th goal in just 12 Under-21 games to clinch a 2-1 win over Turkey and pass Shearer and Francis Jeffers’ mark.

He scored with two minutes left at Molineux on Tuesday, having missed a penalty five minutes earlier, as England clinched a place at Euro 2021.

Nketiah was just six when Shearer, who scored 260 Premier League goals, retired in 2006 but knows the importance of being mentioned with him.

“I’ve seen a lot of clips of Alan Shearer playing, he was a great player and holds the Premier League goalscoring record, which is phenomenal,” said the 21-year-old, who hit a post with his 82nd-minute spot-kick.

“It’s an honour to be around his name. I have a long way to get to where he was. It’s an honour to have broken his record.

“It’s early doors but there’s a lot more to give, I can play better, there’s a lot more in me. It’s about pushing myself day in, day out.

“To break the record is a great feeling and one for me and my family to be proud of. It will be a night I’ll remember.”

Nketiah equalled the Young Lions’ goal record after scoring in last week’s surprise 3-3 draw in Andorra.

His historic strike on Tuesday came after Huseyin Turkmen’s own goal gave Aidy Boothroyd’s side an opener before goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale saved Halil Dervisoglu’s penalty.

Dervisoglu grabbed a stoppage-time consolation but England, top of Group Three, reached next year’s championships with two games to spare.

The groups in Hungary and Slovenia will be held in March, with the knock-out stages in May and June after UEFA rescheduled the tournament amid the coronavirus crisis.

Nketiah said: “It’s a nice feeling and something we’ve been working towards. We’ve had some very good results. We were disappointed with the Andorra game and wanted to put things right.

“We’ll look forward to the Euros, we’ve got two more games to prepare and make sure we’re right.

“We had to dig in but we hold high standards, we are good players and it’s good to look at and be harsh.

“We could have played a lot better in the two games but we have qualified.”

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